District council system to be revived in Punjab

PTI government introduced tehsil system by abolishing district councils


Qaiser Sherazi July 16, 2021

RAWALPINDI:

District council (DC) system will be revived in Punjab once the dissolved local government bodies were restored in the light of the Supreme Court’s order.

Once the local bodies system is restored, the existing tehsil system introduced by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government will be done away with.

In March this year, the Supreme Court (SC) had ordered to restore local bodies across Punjab, declaring their dissolution under Section 3 of the Punjab Local Government Act (PLGA)-2019 as unconstitutional.

The PTI government had dissolved the 35 district councils that existed under the 2013 act and had created 136 tehsil councils under the PLGA-2019 Act.

According to official sources, district development boards have been set up for development schemes and other affairs across Punjab. Funds worth Rs500 billion have also been allocated for the development of districts to be supervised by the boards.

The restoration of the district council system will also revive the old division of union councils (UC) across the province which will decrease the number of UCs in cities.

After the abolition of the Rawalpindi district council, 24 UCs of villages had been incorporated into the city and made a part of the Rawalpindi Metropolitan Municipal Corporation (RMMC).

However, with the restoration of the district council, the number of rural UCs will increase again.

According to official sources, assets of district councils that had been distributed among tehsils will also be restored.

The sources said that an important meeting will be convened after Eidul Azha in this regard, as the restoration of the district council will require amendments to the law.

The restoration of district councils may also delay the new delimitations in the province. However, a final decision will be made in the first 15 days of August.

In March, the Supreme Court had ordered the restoration of the local government institutions in Punjab, declaring Section 3 of the Punjab Local Government Act (PLGA)-2019 ultra vires to the Constitution.

Under the PLGA 2019, the Punjab government had carved out nine metropolitan corporations, instead of one, besides 17 municipal corporations, instead of the 11 mentioned in the 2013 act. Similarly, the government had slashed the number of municipal committees from 182 to 133 and created 11 more tehsil committees.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2021.

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